Go, Slow, Whoa (GSW) is a program designed to help students and parents make healthier food choices. Students are taught how to make healthier food choices by identifying foods as belonging to one of three categories: Go foods, Slow foods, and Whoa foods. Go, Slow, Whoa is a simplified way of helping children identify foods to eat everyday.
Nutrition education programs such as Go, Slow, Whoa have proven to spur positive behavior change in kids. In fact, a recent study showed that after three years, children who received behavioral and nutrition education ate more Go foods and fewer Whoa foods than those who did not. They also consumed slightly fewer snack and dessert foods and chose more Go versions of desserts.
How are GSW foods identified?
- Go foods are good to eat anytime. They are nutrient dense, higher in fiber, low in saturated fat and dietary cholesterol. Go foods are identified by a green apple on the school meal line. A minimum of three Go foods will be offered daily on the school lunch menu and in the ala carte snack program.
- Slow foods should be eaten sometimes, at most several times a week. These are foods generally higher in calories, higher in fat and added sugars. Kids are encouraged to eat these foods less frequently, so that they can leave room for healthier Go foods. Slow foods are identified by a yellow cheese on the school meal line. These items will be offered in addition to the Go foods on the school menu.
- Whoa foods should only be eaten once in a while or as special treats. They are typically high in saturated fat and dietary cholesterol and, in some cases, high in sugar. Whoa foods are identified by a red cake on the school meal line. Whoa foods are offered less frequently than any other food on the school menu.
School snack and menu entree items are identified as Go, Slow, or Whoa in the lunch line and in our online menus. On the lunch line, all of our menu entrée items and ala carte snack items will be identified as Go, Slow, or Whoa through a symbol system described above. Additionally, Nutrition Services will be selling healthier, Go snacks at a lower cost point compared to their Slow or Whoa counterparts.
With the incorporation of this program, we would love to see students, parents, and staff making healthier choices for themselves and their families. Support from the community and an increased consumption of healthier items will allow Nutrition Services to continue to improve menu and snack offerings.
Additional GSW Resources
- GSW General Criteria (English - Spanish)
- GSW Criteria Food Chart (English - Spanish)
- GSW Grocery Shopping List (English - Spanish)
- Nutrition Education Resources (English - Spanish)
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